Growing up in Cleveland, we all knew about A Christmas Story, since it was shot in town. It may not have done well in theaters, but the story of Ralphie’s quest for his Red Rider BB gun was a local blockbuster. Let’s face it. Anything shot locally got our attention, especially with the Terminal Tower and the adjoining Higbee’s Department Store featured prominently.
But a funny thing happened when the movie hit syndication. If the copyright had somehow expired, I’m convinced A Christmas Story would have eclipsed It’s a Wonderful Life as most overplayed holiday movie. And no one would complain.
Who can forget “You’ll shoot your eye out!” or Darrin McGavin’s colorfully censored vocabulary of swear words or infamous – nay, legendary – frozen tongue scene?
While I never made it to the downtown Higbee’s as a kid, my mom did manage to take me and Ziggins and our little brother to one or two apathetic department store Santas. I never got a foot shoved in my face, but I did have to endure Santa’s lame, listless “Hooooo, hooooo, hooooo.”
And like Ralphie, Ziggins and I both blamed various neighbor kids for our foul language. Unlike Ralphie, I never tasted the after dinner flavor of Palmolive. Ziggins?
Well, he often complained about Irish Spring, but Life Buoy was a good late afternoon snack.
In a former life, I would watch the Christmas Story marathon on Christmas Day every year. Usually, we’d make it through two viewings. Now? Well, Nita and AJ like watching it, but the marathon is a bit much.
At least I’ve never tried to foist this little gem on Nita.
Here’s a scary thought for you. A manager at BigHugeCo has that exact same leg lamp at home. And a miniature night light version in his office.